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February 15, 2023 in News & Press, Upward Health, Upward Health News

Shoulder to Shoulder Foundation Receives $25,000 Donation from The Gem Foundation

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. / February 15, 2023 / Shoulder to Shoulder Foundation, a non-profit organization addressing the unmet needs of individuals and their families affected by poverty, today announced the generous $25,000 donation from The Gem Foundation. The Gem Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on community-led health and development.

Shoulder to Shoulder, founded and led by several executives at Upward Health, was created to meet the urgent needs of individuals in the underserved communities where the company operates. It provides a one-time grant to a person in need – these grants can range from funds to cover unpaid rent to a direct purchase of appliances that are key to one’s livelihood, such as an air conditioner. Nominations for grants are vetted carefully by a review board, and often grants are administered in person by staff working in the community.

“We were drawn to the Foundation’s core principle that when you help to keep a person in their home or to warm that home in the winter, the impact on that person goes far beyond housing or warmth – it can create a ripple effect throughout the community,” said Karen Mercaldo, Founding Director at The Gem Foundation. “The Gem Foundation aims to support people’s aspirations for their own lives and communities, and we saw Shoulder to Shoulder as an excellent avenue for this.”

In an example of a recent grant, the down payment for a new home for a young mother and her child with a disability was paid for by the Foundation. “This woman was on the verge of losing her housing, which while always disruptive, became even more meaningful given the impact on a child with a disability,” said Glen Moller, Chairman of the Board of Shoulder to Shoulder. “We were able to work directly with the landlord, which not only reduced the burden on this mother, but it also allowed for direct payment and ensured a seamless transition for the family.”

The Gem Foundation’s donation provides Shoulder to Shoulder with the opportunity to increase its impact, and 100 percent of this and all donations received by the organization, go to the individuals supported by the Foundation. Shoulder to Shoulder has helped nearly 100 individuals and families to date.


Shoulder to Shoulder is the independent non-profit foundation founded by the leadership of Upward Health to provide meaningful one-time support to alleviate acute material needs of individuals and their families in communities of focus. Upward Health contributes all administration expenses, meaning that 100 percent of contributions to Shoulder to Shoulder go directly to the needs identified. To learn more, please visit www.shouldertoshoulderfoundation.org.

Press Contact: Ashley Kurpiewski, akurpiewski@upwardhealth.com


The Gem Foundation is a non-profit organization serving community health and development around the world. The foundation invests in an individual’s capacity to transform one’s own life and supports organizations that do the same, convening and connecting people to foster partnership, collaborations, and networks. The Gem Foundation supports initiatives that raise awareness and engage the next generation in innovative approaches to sustainable health and development. For more information, visit www.thegemfoundation.org